Orrery, 1910-1920.

Image number: 10314159

Orrery, 1910-1920.

This planetary model was made by Laing Planetarium Company in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Called an orrery, or more correctly a tellurium, it is a demonstration model to show the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun. Such devices became popular during the 17th century, especially after Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) published his universal theory of gravity in 1687. To reproduce the motions of the solar system, this model uses hand driven pulleys with cords on a wooden pedestal stand. This type of model would have been commonly employed in schools or colleges to teach astronomy.

Image number:
10314159
Credit:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
20 October 2003 14:35
Image rights:
Science Museum